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Birkenstock launches vegan collection, almost lives up to hippie reputation

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We didn’t think it was possible, but kicking around a hacky-sack just got greener.

Yahoo was excited to report that Birkenstock has launched their vegan line of footwear in the US (previously available in Europe). The sandals synonymous with art school sophomores are typically crafted from leather, but are now also available in an Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (or EVA – no relation) synthetic. One piece molded construction bills the animal-friendly option as being waterproof, lightweight, and with a roomy toe box, but there’s been no word on whether or not the foot-spread-conundrum lives on in this model.

PETA was quick to throw a fashion award at the brand, crediting their ability to jump on bandwagons without having to slow down their production of the standard, highly promoted injustice-heavy collections. Sure, growing demand leads to more options in the marketplace, but we certainly should not celebrate institutions of exploitation as having a “commitment to ethical practices” for figuring out how to make a quick buck off of popularity. Birkenstock has not seen the error of their ways, they’ve just seen a new way to sell more sandals. It’s honestly a bit surprising they garnered such a wholesome reputation before they made a vegan-friendly option, isn’t it?

The vegan line offers double ‘Arizona’ and single ‘Madrid’ buckle styles for adults, and a single ‘Rio’ style for kids. The classic tan and browns that make up the original are traded in for navy, white, red, and neon varieties that ensure no one will accuse you of wearing one for the other team. For those who thought casual footwear would hold them back from veganism, shop on and show that the lines of limitation are disappearing in fashion. But in the next hackey-sack circle you find yourself magnetically pulled to, be sure to promote veganism as a moral baseline and not a seasonal fashion trend. Then, we can hope more vegans fill all these vegan shoes.

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  • Dylan Wentworth

    I couldn’t agree more.
    Its like the whole Ben and Jerry’s thing.
    And they won’t even call their ice cream “vegan.” And the price is higher than their dairy flavors.

    What do you want? A cookie?

    I hope it’s just a start but i highly doubt it.

  • Sarah Pemberton

    Great they are doing this but they are not replacing the animal production. Plus it is essentially made from plastic so that means oil! How about looking at Hemp or the mushroom and pineapple faux leathers!!

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Concerned about endangered animals? Stop eating them

Methods of animal conservation that support the exploitation of animals don’t exist for the animals, they exist for human profit.

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The outcry should go further than importation and should be directed at the fact that the animals in question were on their way to slaughter in the first place.